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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Getting back to business

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on the blog- my very own space. After much persuasion [almost coercion] by my friend Ashish, I decided to revive this space…for my own good. I may be busy with my new job [yipppeee!] but one of my professors said, “Always keep writing.” I now understand the value of his advice. It’s absolutely critical for a journalist to keep writing, even if (s)he works for a TV channel. When we don’t do certain things often enough, we forget how to do them skillfully…and writing is a classic example! I wouldn’t be able to bear ‘not being able to write’…because writing has always been my first love!

I would also like to issue a caveat: I am writing after almost three months and so, it may not be too impressive. Kindly bear with me…

Well, after more than a month of exposure to the real life ‘newsroom’, the rhythm is finally beginning to set in. It’s an exciting atmosphere…watching news break all the time, people running all over the place just before a show is about to air, people yelling at you…asking you to hurry up- the deadlines are slightly crazier- and the fast pace which keeps you alive.

Yes, but television is not glamorous…not at all!My relatives and friends have been asking me, “So, when are we going to see you on TV?” This is one question I have begun to despise. First of all, it’s a long uphill climb for a fresher…and I am right at the bottom [by the way, I feel there’s no better place to start!]. And TV journalism is not about being on TV…it’s much more than that! It’s talent and sheer hard work. Recent films have been portraying journalism in not-a-very-pleasant light…I wish those who criticise journalists could hold their tongues before trying to be journalists themselves…just for a week maybe.In that respect, the
Asian College of Journalism has prepared our minds well, at least my mind, for the profession of a journalist. There’s a lot to be learnt everyday and I guess it’ll be the best part about the job for years to come.

Things Politicians Say

To get to the main topic of this post, I have been observing how certain politicians respond to questions that ‘question’ their inaction.Take the farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha for example: In an interview with Karan Thapar for Devil’s Advocate, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar didn’t seem too fazed by the fact that farmers were jumping to their death because of their failed crops and indebtedness. He thought it was nothing out of the ordinary. And this considering that just in the last 2-3 days, eight farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra. And PM Manmohan Singh has taken it upon himself to ensure that the relief packages prepared but not yet implemented, are introduced on a war footing. After intially refusing to accompany the PM, Pawar finally decided to go on the tour...not without controversy though.

What was Sharad Pawar waiting for? And how can he show an apathetic attitude towards farmers’ suicides? Okay, let’s consider farmers’ suicides as "normal": Does it mean Pawar can justify his inaction, just because suicides have been happening for a long time? For God’s sake, these are people’s lives we are talking about!!

Then comes Rajasthan’s leading lady,
Vasundhara Raje. When Rupashree Nanda asked her why there was caste-based discrimination in the distribution of water, Raje gave a fearfully similar response.

Just because caste discrimination is rampant in India and has existed for centuries, citing it as some sort of an excuse is just not right! Ideally, a politician, especially a Chief Minister must know what's going on in his/her state. But we all know it's not practically possible. A polite, "Thankyou for bringing the problem to our notice. We'll look into it," would have probably been more appropriate. Why did she have to get so defensive? Was she already aware of the problem? There's no way of finding that out and it would be unfair on my part to make that allegation.

But my stand continues to remain firm: Just because something has been happening for a long time doesn't make it right!

Comments are welcome...